Continue reading below for details about: 
  • Blood test for breast cancer screening NOT recommended
  • January is Cervical Health Awareness Month
  • New FIT mail out initiative
New FIT mail out initiative
The Alberta Colorectal Cancer Screening Program is pleased to introduce the FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test) mail out initiative. This initiative will reduce barriers for eligible Albertans by making it simpler to access colorectal cancer screening using FIT. This is especially important for individuals living in rural and remote locations and those who don’t have a regular health care provider.
Starting this month, eligible individuals aged 50 to 74 can order a free FIT kit online at or by calling AHS Screening Programs and have it mailed to them. Alternatively, individuals can still see their regular health care provider to get a lab requisition to pick up a FIT kit. More information will be shared in the coming weeks leading up to the full public launch in March.
How primary care providers can support this work
  • Continue to talk to eligible patients (individuals aged 50 to 74 who are at average risk for colorectal cancer) about the importance of regular colorectal cancer screening.
  • Encourage eligible patients to get screened with FIT every year
  • If your patient prefers to pick up their FIT kit, provide them with a requisition to take to the lab
  • Let patients know they can order a FIT kit online ( or by calling AHS Screening Programs (1-866-727-3926 toll-free) and have it mailed to them – no requisition required
 Visit the health provider page on to learn more.
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month
The Alberta Cervical Cancer Screening Program thanks our health care partners for the critical roles they play in the cervical cancer screening and prevention continuum. Getting screened regularly for cervical cancer can save lives.
Practice Tips

Who is eligible for cervical cancer screening?
Current clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) recommend commencing Pap tests for women and people with a cervix when they are 25 years old or three years after becoming sexually active, whichever is later. Eligible patients should be screened once every three years until they’re 69 years old, unless the patient has other risk factors.
Should I refer my patients with low-grade results and a negative HPV result to colposcopy?
No, the risk level in this scenario is equivalent to a negative Pap test result. Current CPGs recommend that these patients be followed-up in routine screening. The colposcopy referral algorithm outlines how to handle abnormal Pap test results.
Improving quality in cervical cancer screening - Reducing unsatisfactory Paps
Unsatisfactory Pap tests can result in a negative cervical cancer screening experience for patients. A repeat Pap test in three months is recommended for every unsatisfactory result. You can take steps to help your patient better prepare for a Pap test and to improve Pap collection techniques. For more information, visit and click on “Unsatisfactory Results Resources”.
Blood Test for Breast Cancer Screening NOT Recommended
The Alberta Breast Cancer Screening Program (ABCSP) has received a number of inquiries about a new blood test by Syantra DX for breast cancer screening. At this time, this test is not recommended as part of breast cancer screening.
Please keep in mind:
  • It is experimental. The test is still in clinical trials and data on its effectiveness is only inferred based on early results.
  • The blood test is not meant as a substitute for screening mammography. Any statistics about its effectiveness are based on having both a screening mammogram and the blood test.
  • The test is not covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.
  • Eligible Albertans are recommended to be screened using a mammogram.
Although the ABCSP is excited by the prospect of new technology, screening mammograms remain the only breast cancer screening tool with established evidence to reduce mortality from breast cancer.

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